Go Back   MacRumors Forums > iPhone, iPod and iPad > iPhone

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Sep 19, 2013, 07:17 PM   #1
MicroMacTosh
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
(T-Mobile iPhone 5s is LOCKED- Unlocked iPhone 5s Discussion)

There's a lot of inaccuracy and rumors swirling around these forums with conflicting views on the locked and unlocked status of iPhone 5s linked to carriers .... here is a bombshell I found out today and completely flabbergasted ....

It appears what Apple is calling the "T-Mobile contract-free" iPhone 5s is actually locked to T-Mobile, and needs to be unlocked by T-Mobile.

The wording of the text has been changed too, before it said "unlocked", now the ad on Apple.com just says contract-free with no mention of the T-Mobile variant being unlocked. Apple said I had to call T-Mobile to get it unlocked.

I escalated with higher-ups at the Apple store as well as T-Mobile, in person and on the phone, and the answer from T-Mobile is even if the phone is bought full-priced, it is locked to T-Mobile, and can be unlocked only under certain conditions (minimum 40 days owning device, minimum top up of 50 dollars on prepaid)

Apple also said the T-Mobile iPhone 5s bought in the Apple store would need a call to T-Mobile to be unlocked (DESPITE paying full-price !!) T-Mobile detailed their unlocking policy, saying 40 day minimum before unlock can be done, to deter people selling abroad ....... what right do they have to lock a phone that's been paid for in full ??????

I was furious and arguing with T-Mobile and Apple employees and reps all day to get to the bottom of the situation, and the final answer seems to be it is locked.

When the T-Mobile iPhone 5 was launched, was it unlocked if payed full-price ? Subsidized ? I've unlocked T-Mobile iPhones before through a source, so means they were locked to T-mobile.

What is the situation and best way to get an unlocked iPhone 5s- unlocked meaning able to use the phone with any GSM carrier immediately, without need for an unlock code.

T-Mobile iPhone 5s seems locked to T-Mobile, even payed full price at Apple store.

AT&T is locked, but easily unlocked. If paid full-price for AT&T iPhone 5s, will it be unlocked immediately there ? Is a contract necessary ?

Verizon - is it unlocked off the box ? If bought full-price, is a contract necessary with Verizon.

I just need to buy a few completely unlocked without hassles of contracts and signing up, just pay money and get out with phones I can insert any SIM card.

Now, seems like NO ONE knows what the hell is going on, the system in the U.S. is INSANE.
MicroMacTosh is offline   8 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 07:32 PM   #2
AndrewR23
macrumors 68020
 
AndrewR23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
I am VERY curious too bc I have AT&T and I want to buy the 5S unlocked, insert my AT&T sim card and have it working.
AndrewR23 is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 07:33 PM   #3
Gary500
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
This is no surprise...unlocking is takes like 5 seconds after you call them.
Gary500 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 07:40 PM   #4
AndrewR23
macrumors 68020
 
AndrewR23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary500 View Post
This is no surprise...unlocking is takes like 5 seconds after you call them.
if you read the OP paragraph, Tmobile requires 40 days before unlock

----------

T-Mobile phones comes unlocked because they have contract-free phones you do not have to use T-Mobile if that is not your preference.


Okay well this is official on the Apple store they will come unlocked.

Thats what Apple told me when I called
AndrewR23 is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 07:41 PM   #5
intoxicated662
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
It is actually 40 days of continuous service with T-Mobile. I bought my iPhone 5 from a friend who paid the full price of the iPhone 5 32gb out of contract and it was still locked to T-Mobile. He had it for 3 months, sold it to me and called last friday to have it unlocked but was told I had to wait until this past monday to call back and have the unlock approved. I got an email from t-mobile support stating that my unlock was approved and successfully done & to wait 72 hours from the time on the email for it to work. I have followed the instructions and connected my iPhone 5 to itunes on my imac but have not seen the "congratulations, your iPhone is now unlocked" message.

I don't think it is right that you pay full price for an iPhone and still have it carrier locked. They should also note that it has to be 40 days of service with the carrier not just 40 days because people will continue to be confused.
intoxicated662 is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 07:41 PM   #6
CEmajr
macrumors 68040
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Charlotte, NC
- If you buy it from the Apple store, it's unlocked. Apple doesn't sell locked T-Mobile iPhones.

- If you buy it from a T-Mobile store, even at full price, it will be locked to T-Mobile until you've had service with them for 40 days and then they will unlock it.
CEmajr is offline   7 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 07:56 PM   #7
Yoonoo
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Angry

Talk about last minutes changes! I just noticed that today Apple changed the wording in their web site from "T-Mobile Contract Free and Unlocked" to just "T-Mobile Contract Free" for the 5s. But when you make a slection the product name displayed on the upper right side still says "iPhone 5s 64GB Space Gray (GSM) T-Mobile Unlocked"

To add to the confusion, the product description still says that it can be used with a local carrier SIM when traveling internationally.

Not sure what to believe anymore. I was planning on using this with AT&T because I don't want to renew my contract.
Yoonoo is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 08:00 PM   #8
airmax32
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
i had a bad experience with them. That's why I'm not even delighted with what they are offering. A lot of people in my country (Phiiippines) think that just by buying the phone from t-mobile everything is a walk in the park. It's a good thing you raised this up.
airmax32 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 08:05 PM   #9
MicroMacTosh
Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEmajr View Post
- If you buy it from the Apple store, it's unlocked. Apple doesn't sell locked T-Mobile iPhones.

- If you buy it from a T-Mobile store, even at full price, it will be locked to T-Mobile until you've had service with them for 40 days and then they will unlock it.
Why did they change the wording and remove unlocked for tmobile , and specifically say it had to be unlocked with tmobile, as well as this being confirmed by tmobile corporate ?

AT&T iphone sold at apple is locked .

Good news - standing outside a Verizon store and they say if you buy the Verizon phone full price at apple , it is unlocked .

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoonoo View Post
Talk about last minutes changes! I just noticed that today Apple changed the wording in their web site from "T-Mobile Contract Free and Unlocked" to just "T-Mobile Contract Free" for the 5s. But when you make a slection the product name displayed on the upper right side still says "iPhone 5s 64GB Space Gray (GSM) T-Mobile Unlocked"

To add to the confusion, the product description still says that it can be used with a local carrier SIM when traveling internationally.

Not sure what to believe anymore. I was planning on using this with AT&T because I don't want to renew my contract.
Count us double . They probably are hiding the point it needs to be unlocked with tmobile first to use globally with a GSM carrier .

Funny that the Verizon one is unlocked at apple but this is not advertised as unlocked
MicroMacTosh is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 09:05 PM   #10
Yoonoo
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Did some digging around the Apple store site and found that the site code at least reffers to the T-Mobile version of the 5S 64gb Space Grey (Model ME329LL/A) as being UNLOCKED . See URL Below:

http://store.apple.com/us/buyFlowVariationUpdate/IPHONE5S?
option.dimensionColor=space_gray&option.dimensionCapacity=64gb
&carrierPolicyType=UNLOCKED&node=home%2Fshop_iphone%2Ffamily%2Fiphone5s&step=select

Screenshot of server response is attached.

Either the phones are unlocked or they are wrongfully marked as unlocked in the Apple store system.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	iPhone5S_JSON.PNG
Views:	1852
Size:	19.0 KB
ID:	434304  
Yoonoo is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 09:14 PM   #11
psun786
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by MicroMacTosh View Post
There's a lot of inaccuracy and rumors swirling around these forums with conflicting views on the locked and unlocked status of iPhone 5s linked to carriers .... here is a bombshell I found out today and completely flabbergasted ....

It appears what Apple is calling the "T-Mobile contract-free" iPhone 5s is actually locked to T-Mobile, and needs to be unlocked by T-Mobile.

The wording of the text has been changed too, before it said "unlocked", now the ad on Apple.com just says contract-free with no mention of the T-Mobile variant being unlocked. Apple said I had to call T-Mobile to get it unlocked.

I escalated with higher-ups at the Apple store as well as T-Mobile, in person and on the phone, and the answer from T-Mobile is even if the phone is bought full-priced, it is locked to T-Mobile, and can be unlocked only under certain conditions (minimum 40 days owning device, minimum top up of 50 dollars on prepaid)

Apple also said the T-Mobile iPhone 5s bought in the Apple store would need a call to T-Mobile to be unlocked (DESPITE paying full-price !!) T-Mobile detailed their unlocking policy, saying 40 day minimum before unlock can be done, to deter people selling abroad ....... what right do they have to lock a phone that's been paid for in full ??????

I was furious and arguing with T-Mobile and Apple employees and reps all day to get to the bottom of the situation, and the final answer seems to be it is locked.

When the T-Mobile iPhone 5 was launched, was it unlocked if payed full-price ? Subsidized ? I've unlocked T-Mobile iPhones before through a source, so means they were locked to T-mobile.

What is the situation and best way to get an unlocked iPhone 5s- unlocked meaning able to use the phone with any GSM carrier immediately, without need for an unlock code.

T-Mobile iPhone 5s seems locked to T-Mobile, even payed full price at Apple store.

AT&T is locked, but easily unlocked. If paid full-price for AT&T iPhone 5s, will it be unlocked immediately there ? Is a contract necessary ?

Verizon - is it unlocked off the box ? If bought full-price, is a contract necessary with Verizon.

I just need to buy a few completely unlocked without hassles of contracts and signing up, just pay money and get out with phones I can insert any SIM card.

Now, seems like NO ONE knows what the hell is going on, the system in the U.S. is INSANE.
This guy obviously has no idea of what he is talking about. I am here at the Apple store in Victoria Garden. The sales person clearly said the T-Mobile contract free version is UNLOCKED.
psun786 is offline   5 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 09:29 PM   #12
MicroMacTosh
Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by psun786 View Post
This guy obviously has no idea of what he is talking about. I am here at the Apple store in Victoria Garden. The sales person clearly said the T-Mobile contract free version is UNLOCKED.
Just got off the phone with apple store in century city and they say it's locked to tmobile and no unlocked phones for sale

Are they ignorant or just don't know ? I will not risk buying tmobile variants and find out they are locked as tmobile and apple insist

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by psun786 View Post
This guy obviously has no idea of what he is talking about. I am here at the Apple store in Victoria Garden. The sales person clearly said the T-Mobile contract free version is UNLOCKED.
Doesn' matter what they say - I literally got completely different answers from salespeople in the SAME store .
MicroMacTosh is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 09:31 PM   #13
mpsruo
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Sounds to me like you got somebody that didn't know what the heck they were talking about, now you're spreading misinformation like its dogmatic.
__________________
2013 Macbook Air 13 / iPad Retina / Samsung Note 3
mpsruo is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 09:32 PM   #14
Lancetx
macrumors 68000
 
Lancetx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Texas
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEmajr View Post
- If you buy it from the Apple store, it's unlocked. Apple doesn't sell locked T-Mobile iPhones.

- If you buy it from a T-Mobile store, even at full price, it will be locked to T-Mobile until you've had service with them for 40 days and then they will unlock it.
Yes, this is correct.
Attached Images
 
Lancetx is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 09:33 PM   #15
AdrianT
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
If you go thru the order process on the site and click the T-mobile phone on the side where your cart is it says iPhone 5s 16GB Gold (GSM) T-Mobile Unlocked; if its locked, why would the description be Unlocked?

Edit: Exactly what I mean from the pic above.
AdrianT is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 09:35 PM   #16
sparrky
macrumors 6502a
 
sparrky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: California
When you select the iphone 5s T-Mobile version, this is what shows in your cart. UNLOCKED.


edit: ha someone beat me to it :P
sparrky is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 09:37 PM   #17
Velin
macrumors 65816
 
Velin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Hearst Castle
Either the FCC needs to pass a regulation, or the U.S. Congress issuing a law, banning this "locked phone" idiocy. There is zero justification for it, it's only purpose is to forcefully limit consumer choice and to immunize wireless carriers from the effects of their exorbitant pricing and/or bad service.
Velin is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 09:40 PM   #18
MicroMacTosh
Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
It's possible Apple forgot to remove the unlocked part

Apple edited the tmobile iphone 5s description to remove the word "unlocked "

Before it was "unlocked and contract-free" , now just "contract free"

Why would Apple remove mention if unlocked in the last 48 hours ?

Something is up, and Apple did not do it for no reason

Tmobile reps INSISTED the apple store tmobile phone is locked

I'm in Los Angeles . The Santa Monica , century city , and grove locations all insisted on this
MicroMacTosh is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 09:45 PM   #19
Vctr
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: May 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by MicroMacTosh View Post
Tmobile reps INSISTED the apple store tmobile phone is locked
Not saying you're wrong ... but its in T-Mobile's best interest to make you think that the Apple Store T-Mobile iPhone is locked to their network. They have nothing to lose.
Vctr is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 09:54 PM   #20
manhattanmania
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
bad news.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Untitled.jpg
Views:	1155
Size:	58.7 KB
ID:	434327  
manhattanmania is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 09:55 PM   #21
sleepyking
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by MicroMacTosh View Post
It's possible Apple forgot to remove the unlocked part

Apple edited the tmobile iphone 5s description to remove the word "unlocked "

Before it was "unlocked and contract-free" , now just "contract free"

Why would Apple remove mention if unlocked in the last 48 hours ?

Something is up, and Apple did not do it for no reason

Tmobile reps INSISTED the apple store tmobile phone is locked

I'm in Los Angeles . The Santa Monica , century city , and grove locations all insisted on this
While I hope this isn't true I would not doubt or completely dismiss some speculation that it's locked. Afterall didnt t mobile just offer their unlocked plans this year? Could be that the contract free phones are indeed locked to t mobile at least for a reasonable amount of time (40 days is it?) to prevent people buying to resell
sleepyking is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 10:01 PM   #22
MicroMacTosh
Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by manhattanmania View Post
bad news.
That's what I've been getting ALL day from every apple and t-mobile store today.

Either theny're all misinformed or top brass is keeping their underlings in the dark, or it really is unlocked.

I'm guessing the best bet is buying the full-priced Verizon iphone 5s, Verizon reps tell me it is unlocked

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepyking View Post
While I hope this isn't true I would not doubt or completely dismiss some speculation that it's locked. Afterall didnt t mobile just offer their unlocked plans this year? Could be that the contract free phones are indeed locked to t mobile at least for a reasonable amount of time (40 days is it?) to prevent people buying to resell
I was told they would be locked for 40 days for the exact same reason -- to prevent reselling abroad.

Remember, apple had a 'SIM-free' iphone 5s on their site along with T-Mobile contract-free.

They removed the SIM-free one.


Can't be a coincidence ... my guess is T-Mobile bargained to have their variant locked to prevent reselling.
MicroMacTosh is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 10:09 PM   #23
rolly3
Banned
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
I told you this ***** just yesterday. But you didn't listen, and now you'll have to suffer.






If you want an unlocked iPhone,

Do not buy ANY iPhone with a carrier name attached. Period.

Only buy unlocked from Apple.






It's really that simple.
rolly3 is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 10:11 PM   #24
Yoursh
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: MN
My purely speculative guess is that Apple has dedicated all of it's day one stock to the carriers. With it looking like the rumors of low inventory of 5S looking to be true, Apple may be choosing to hold off on unlocked/sim-free units till after it's inventory has stabilized. If you look at the 5C page, it does offer both T-mobile and sim-free models. Though, there is less day one demand for them.

I'm personally planning on moving to t-mobile with the 5S and was planning on picking up a unlocked model. Not that big a deal for me to wait 40 days to unlock. Though if the Verizon model is unlocked, might be a better option just for resale. Either way I'll be returning it in a few weeks if the T-mobile reception isn't good at my work or keeping it for a few years.
__________________
MacPro 2.83Quad/6GB/820GB
Macbook Pro 2.4GHz/4GB/120GB SSD
Xserve+XRaid+Drobo 4TB
Yoursh is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Sep 19, 2013, 10:13 PM   #25
sleepyking
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by rolly3 View Post
I told you this ***** just yesterday. But you didn't listen, and now you'll have to suffer.






If you want an unlocked iPhone,

Do not buy ANY iPhone with a carrier name attached. Period.

Only buy unlocked from Apple.






It's really that simple.
It's not that simple because there's no iPhone listed on Apple that isn't tied to any carrier. The closest is T mobile but it now says contract free but with sim, whereas it previously said "..& unlocked" and "sim-free"
sleepyking is offline   1 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > iPhone, iPod and iPad > iPhone

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Locked/Unlocked Iphone Question pauly1 iPhone 2 Nov 24, 2013 03:49 PM
How can I unlocked my iPhone 5S ( LOCKED with T-Mobile ) kendu2412 iPhone 7 Sep 24, 2013 12:37 AM
Verizon iPhone 5s LOCKED or UNLOCKED? edtorious iPhone 6 Sep 20, 2013 11:43 AM
Unlocked iPhone vs Carrier locked iPhone availability? curtoise iPhone 0 Sep 15, 2013 11:45 AM
iPhone: Replacing locked iPhone 4 with new unlocked iPhone by switching SIM tray & EMEI helphelphelp!!! Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks 3 Mar 30, 2013 08:27 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:00 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC